The Challenge: Isolation & Loneliness
The Opportunity: Making the most of kind communities and our ability to reach out.
Two things have been prominent themes during the pandemic, one is the isolation and loneliness suffered by many and the other is how local groups have formed on a multitude of social platforms, such as whatsApp and Nextdoor.com or even just setting up a group email for their street.
We need to do more to address loneliness and bring people together. Isolation and loneliness maybe as a result of lack of family nearby, old age and disability, isolation due to language and being in an alien community.
This pandemic has shown that many people were quick to volunteer to help the NHS and to form local support groups on various social media platforms. We need to find ways of maintaining the community spirit and capitalising on it to help people re-connect. This will be especially important as the detrimental economic impact of the pandemic will exacerbate many people’s situations. They may have lost their jobs and therefore a large part of their social contact, they may be suffering the mental impact of financial hardship and feel demoralised that their skills are not relevant and consequently deem themselves as redundant. We need to provide a friendly environment where groups can meet and continue to give support.